Marijampole Mantinga look to make another statement at FIBA 3x3 Lublin Challenger 2023
LUBLIN (Poland) - In-form Marijampole Mantinga (LTU) will look to defy a tough draw at the FIBA 3x3 Lublin Challenger 2023 on September 23-24.
The lethal Lithuanians are part of a strong 16-team field and there are also three tickets available for the Abu Dhabi Masters, which is the 14th stop on this season's FIBA 3x3 World Tour.
Let's preview all the action.
Their leader Evaldas Dziaugys has been unstoppable from close range and we can't wait to see him battle Beijing superstar Karlis Lasmanis in a Day One blockbuster.
Also boasting Lasmanis' sidekick Nauris Miezis, Beijing have been one of the best teams on the pro circuit as they eye a fifth title. They will also feel confident against Marijampole after a Day One victory at the Suntory Shanghai Challenger en route to a title.
No.1 seeds Antwerp TOPdesk (BEL) will be seeking a fourth title, but have suffered quarter-final exits in their last two events.
They will again boast a loaded line-up led by passionate Dennis Donkor, who you just know will be determined to snap Antwerp's losing streak.
Death, taxes and....Liman Huishan NE (SRB) being a 3x3 powerhouse. This legendary team has continued to be one of the best teams in the business but they've only tasted one title this season.
Sniper Stefan Kojic has a special chemistry with big fella Mihailo Vasic, so Liman will fancy their chances although this draw is deep.
We have to mention Lausanne (SUI), who broke through memorably at the Sansar Challenger and towering Carlos Martinez is on a heater at the moment.
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And we're not going to make the same old mistake and forget Partizan (SRB), who always put egg on our face. These dudes are simply contenders with Stefan Milivojevica and Stefan Torbica providing extra firepower.
There are numerous teams capable of upsetting the contenders, including Utsunomiya BREX EXE (JPN) who have gone off the boil slightly after such an encouraging start to the season.
Scoring machine Marko Milakovic will need to continue his strong season because they are in Pool A alongside Antwerp and fan favorites Warsaw Lotto (POL).
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The Poles haven't gotten out of first gear, but deserve respect because they boast walking bucket Przemyslaw Zamojski.
Jeddah (KSA) will have their work cut out to get past Beijing and Marijampole. But they are loaded with talent led by Malik Hluchoweckyj, who is a wizard with the Wilson.
Lublin Lotto (POL) will aim to be hometown heroes, while Pirot (SRB) and Riga (LAT) are the favorites to get out of the six-team qualifying draw.
Pool A: Antwerp TOPdesk (BEL), Utsunomiya BREX EXE (JPN), Warsaw Lotto (POL)
Pool B: Beijing (CHN), Marijampole Mantinga (LTU), Jeddah (KSA)
Pool C: Liman Huishan NE (SRB), Lausanne (SRB), Lublin Lotto (POL)
Pool D: Partizan (SRB), Qualifier, Qualifier
What's at stake
The top 3 teams in Lublin will qualify for the Abu Dhabi Masters on October 28-29 2023, as part of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour.
How to watch
The two-day extravaganza is on September 23-24 and you can follow it live on the FIBA 3x3 YouTube page.